The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts by Linda G.

Warren County Fair

Late last month my friend Nokomis asked if I would be willing to take pictures of her daughter at the Warren County Fair Queen Pageant on Monday, August 7. Honored to be asked to take pictures, I readily agreed to do so. Nokomis gifted me two fair passes, good for free admission all week long, for taking the pictures.  The gift was unnecessary, but welcome.

The Warren County Fair was held the week of August 7.  Bob and I attended the fair three times.

On Monday, August 7, we attended the Warren County Fair Queen Pageant.  We arrived at the fair grounds around 5:30 pm. I thought we might have difficulty finding parking because admission to the fair was free Monday evening.  We easily found parking. Shortly before the pageant was to begin I took a picture of two of six princesses who would be crowned during the pageant.

Two pretty princesses
The girl in blue is my friend Nokomis’s daughter.

My main focus during the pageant was photographing Nokomis’s daughter.  Here are some highlights from the Warren County Fair Queen pageant.

My friend’s daughter presented…

…and crowned.

LJG23188The princesses did very well in their dance routine.

LJG23196Each princess was asked one question.
My friend’s daughter was asked what is her horse’s name. She responded “Tinkerbell”.

LJG23202This year’s fair queen and runner up.

My favorite picture of the evening, though, was not on stage.  This was my favorite picture, which is both a candid and evocative portrait of a princess and her daddy.

_LG23161A princess and her daddy

The Warren County Fair Queen Pageant ended at 8:20 pm.  We returned home by 9:00 pm.

Bob and I went to the Warren County Fair again on Wednesday, August 9, after Bob came home from work. We spent about 2 1/2 hours at the fair. We ate dinner, supporting the Zem Zem Hornets with our food purchases. Bob ordered a hot Italian sausage sandwich; I ordered a Steak ‘n Cheese sandwich. We found seating at a picnic table and enjoyed a picnic-style dinner.

After dinner we began to check out the barn animals. We had only reached the rabbit barn, when Nokomis found us. She said that a show would soon be starting at the Equestrian Show Ring.  At first the riding was just for fun, giving the horses some exercise.

XZ091315My friend’s daughter, riding Tinkerbell

The corral was cleared after a short time, in preparation for a performance by the Equestrian Drill Team. Nokomis’s daughter was part of the drill team.  Here is a short video of the drill team performance.

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for a direct link to the video.

I took this picture at the conclusion of the drill team performance.

XZ091334Nokomis’s daughter is the young girl riding the smallest horse.

Bob and I left the Equestrian Show Ring after the drill team performance and visited the barn animals. We saw cows, more horses, chickens, more bunnies, goats, sheep and pigs. We checked out the commercial displays inside some of the buildings, as well as food, quilts, crocheting, art and photographic displays.

Bob and I attended the Warren County Fair again on Saturday, August 12, the last day of the fair.  We arrived around 12:00 pm. We ate lunch, supporting the St. Luke Roman Catholic Church of Youngsville PA with our food purchases. Bob ordered a meatball sub combo meal; I ordered a 3-meat sub combo meal. Besides our sandwiches lunch included beverage of choice, pretzels and a chocolate chip cookie (Bob) and chocolate peanut butter fudge (Linda). We found seating at a picnic table and enjoyed a picnic-style lunch.

After lunch we went in search of Nokomis to see if she had a better handle on when the costumed horse show would begin, rather than her earlier in the week “sometime in the afternoon” response (the best that she could give us at the time). Bob and I went to the Equestrian Show Ring, where we stumbled upon our friends, Doyle and Sheila B.  After a brief chat, I left still looking for Nokomis. Bob stayed behind and continued chatting with Doyle and Sheila. I saw Nokomis’s dad (Scott), who was looking for Nokomis too. After a brief chat with Scott, I walked to Tinkerbell’s stall, which I found empty. The empty stall told me that Tinkerbell and Nokomis’s daughter were participating in a horse competition. I walked back to the Equestrian Show Ring, on the opposite side from where Bob was sitting with Sheila and Doyle. I spotted Nokomis, her daughter and Tinkerbell in the staging area of the show ring. There was an ongoing horse show but not the costumed horse show, at least not yet. I walked back over to where Doyle, Sheila and Bob were seated. Sheila and Doyle’s son Brian and his family had joined Sheila and Doyle. Bob and I didn’t stay for long, upon my return, as his daughter Stacey messaged me around 1:00 pm stating that she and the girls had arrived at the fair.

Bob and I made our way to The Midway, where we found Stacey and the girls. Bob and I hung out with Stacey and the girls while they rode rides.

_LG23256Harper and Juniper on the “bug ride”.

Harper, Juniper and Stacey rode the Carousel.

_LG23259Stacey, Juniper and Harper on the Carousel

In the preceding picture, Harper is in the forefront, just before the carousel ride began.

_LG23260Here is Juniper, enjoying the carousel ride.

_LG23262Harper and Juniper on the helicopter ride.

_LG23269The girls liked the “frog ride”.


The majority of The Midway rides were included with the fair entrance fee. Some of the rides, though, cost extra. Bob and I paid $5.00 for each girl so that they could bungee jump.

Juniper did the bungee jump first.

_LG23275Juniper gets buckled in for her bungee jump.

And here she goes …

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for a direct link to the video.

Harper’s turn was next.

_LG23283Harper is buckled in and ready to begin her bungee jump.

And here she goes…

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for a direct link to the video.

After a while the girls tired of riding rides.  We went to the Equestrian Show Ring, after stopping for water for the girls and a sandwich for Stacey (Harper and Juniper were not hungry). We arrived at the Equestrian Show Ring toward the end of the costumed horse show.

_LG23291My friend Nokomis and her daughter’s costumed horse entry

_LG23293Some of the other costumed horse entries

If we had arrived at the beginning of the costumed horse show, I would have photographed each contestant.  All of the costumes were very creative.

_LG23295Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

I didn’t capture Miss Muffet being frightened away by the spider.  She got up from her tuffet and ran to the bleachers, screaming all the way!

_LG23297My friend’s daughter won first place for her “Little Miss Muffet” entry in the costumed horse show.

Harper and Juniper enjoyed the costumed horse show.  I wish we had arrived in time to see the entire show.

We left the Equestrian Show Ring, after the costumed horse show, and checked out some of the barn animals. Harper and Juniper met Nokomis and her daughter.  Nokomis showed the girls the big white draft horse that her daughter would next be competing on.

_LG23298The girls liked that Nokomis said it was OK to pet the horse.


Leaving the barn area, we parted ways with Stacey and the girls.  We caught up with them again later at the Fire Fighter show.

_LG23301Fire Fighter Show

At the end of the show all children were invited to crawl on the floor through a building that had “real, fake smoke” inside.

Juniper emerges from the smoke-filled building.


Harper emerges from the smoke-filled building.
The boy with his hands raised up is the girls’ friend, William.


We left Stacey and the girls after the Fire Fighter show and went to find seats for the Terry Lee Goffee concert. Stacey and the girls went with William and his grandmother to The Midway to go on more rides.

The Terry Lee Goffee concert is a tribute show to Johnny Cash. The show was awesome. All the songs one would expect to be heard at a Johnny Cash concert were performed by Terry Lee Goffee. He sounded just like the real deal! We sat in lower bleacher seating, which ended up being great seating for taking pictures with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera and 75mm prime lens.

_LG23337Terry Lee Goffee, as Johnny Cash

Here is a video clip of one of the songs Mr. Goffee performed.  Listen and you, too, will think he sounds just like the real deal!

If you are not able to view the embedded video, please click here for a direct link to the video.

What a great week we had at the Warren County Fair!  Thank you, again, Nokomis for the complimentary fair passes.  We very much appreciated your gift.




A Canadian Daycation: Lunch at Walker’s Country Market and Niagara Falls, ON

This blog post continues our daycation to Canada this past Saturday.  In my previous blog post I wrote about our visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

We departed Niagara-on-the-Lake around 11:30 am and began our drive on Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls.

About half way between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls we stopped for lunch.  We ate lunch at Walker’s Country Market. This is a great little lunch place, off the Niagara Parkway, right next to the Living Waters Wayside Chapel. We purchased two turkey sandwiches (Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with cranberry orange sauce, mayo, walnuts, and romaine lettuce on multigrain whole wheat bread) and two peanut butter ganache brownies for lunch. We sat outside on bistro-style seating and ate our lunch. We would definitely return here for lunch, if in the area. I give Walker’s 5 stars! Next time I would hope that we would do a bit of browsing at the market. There was also fresh produce, jams, maple syrup, ice cream and more available for purchase.  Note to self: box lunches can be purchased at Walker’s Country Market.  A picnic-style lunch at Niagara-on-the-Lake would have been nice!

After lunch we took a few pictures of the Living Water Wayside Chapel.


Living Water Wayside Chapel

According to Internet sources, the Living Water Wayside Chapel is the smallest chapel in the world.


Living Water Wayside Chapel (interior view)

We were back on the road at 12:14 pm and arrived in Niagara Falls at 12:45 pm.

We parked in the Bird Kingdom parking lot ($3.99 for 2 hours).  We walked from there, just past the Hornblower Niagara Cruises entrance.  On hindsight I wish we had parked closer to the falls, as I may have been able to walk all the way down to Horseshoe Falls and back.  My arthritic knee was not very cooperative, while in Niagara Falls.

_LG23042The Falls at Niagara Falls

_LG23045the American and Bridal Falls

_LG23049People, people EVERYWHERE!

_LG23055Horseshoe Falls

_LG23060MistRider Zipline to the Falls


We would have had a good vantage point to watch riders on the zipline.  We stayed at this location for a while and stood alongside the cliff (where all the people are), waiting for someone to ride the zipline.  No one rode the zipline, while we waited.  When I asked if anyone would be riding the zipline soon, I was told that the tailwinds were too strong.

On the way back to our car, we walked through Oakes Garden Theatre.

_LG23072Oaks Garden Theatre

_LG23075This spotted seagull posed for me.

_LG23076Oh look … a wedding party!

We found a fish pond.

_LG23077Goldfish at Oakes Garden Theatre

_LG23079This bridge crosses over the fish pond.
What a tranquil setting!

We stopped at the duty free store before crossing the Rainbow Bridge into New York. We made our purchases at the duty free store, namely bourbon and maple filled cookies. We returned to the USA at 2:30 pm. The U.S. Border control guard asked Bob to remove his sunglasses, asked him how tall he is and how much he weighs. She said our last name is a common name, and some people with that name have done very bad things.

Niagara Falls, NY was too crowded for a pleasant visit.  We will visit Niagara Falls, NY at a later date.

We decided to drive to Erie PA for dinner. We ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We had a 15-25 minute wait to be seated. It was worth the wait. Our dinners were good, although we brought enough home with us for another meal for each of us. Neither of us were as hungry as we thought we were.

We were back on the road at 7:50 pm.

We chased Saturday night’s sunset. We saw the setting sun, as we drove over the Interstate 86 bridge that crosses over Chautauqua Lake at Bemus Point, NY. We exited Interstate 86 at Bemus Point. We couldn’t find anywhere to park, as the Bemus Pops Concert series was happening that evening.

LJG23081Sunset at Bemus Point, NY
I snapped this sunset picture from inside our car.

Bob thought he could make it to the Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area before the sun set. We made it there in the nick of time.

LJG23084Sunset at Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area

LJG23085Sunset at Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area

I posted these three sunset pictures on Facebook, while on our way home from the rest area.  My Facebook friend Christi C. said it best, when she made the comment “You chased the sun till it dipped below the world and said good bye for the final time today!”

It was a very long day.  We departed home at 6:00 am and returned home around 9:30 pm.  We drove 340 miles.   It was a long day, but what a wonderful day we had!

A Canadian Daycation: Niagara-on-the-Lake

Our daycation began at 6:00 am on Saturday, July 29. We spent the day traveling to Niagara-on-the-Lake and back home.

Our first stop was a fuel stop at Mobil in Jamestown, NY. Bob attempted to use the Plenti Speedpass app to make a fuel purchase. He received an error “try again later”. Needing fuel, Bob used his Plenti card for the fuel purchase and received regular points rather than the promotional points offered via the Plenti Speedpass. We have until the end of August to purchase at least 10 gallons of gas two more times to receive enough points for $20.00 in free gas. As long as the Plenti Speedpass works properly for our next two fill ups, we shouldn’t have any difficulty meeting the requirement.

Our second stop was for breakfast at Bob Evans, located across the street from the Mobil station. We had a couple minutes of excitement, before entering the restaurant. After stepping out of the car in the parking lot, a hawk in pursuit of a crow nearly took me out as they both swooped by my head! Bob saw the hawk and crow swoop by my head. I didn’t see the birds, until they had flown past me. I did hear a loud screech close to my ear, though, which startled me. The hawk and crow proceeded to a nearby tree, where they took a brief intermission. Soon the crow took off with the hawk continuing pursuit. A second crow entered in the chase as backup. Both crows escaped, last we saw.

For breakfast, Bob ordered a Border Omelet with rye toast and hash browns. I ordered a Western Omelet with wheat toast and home fries. Breakfast was delicious and filling.  We were back on the road shortly after 7:00 am.

At approximately 8:30 am we crossed into Canada via the Peace Bridge. The Canadian border control guard asked Bob questions about guns e.g., does he have a concealed carrying permit (yes), are there any guns in the car (no), what guns does he own. This is the second time this year that Bob has had questions posed to him regarding his concealed carrying permit and guns, when crossing the border into Canada.

We drove to Niagara on the Lake, via the Niagara Parkway.  We parked at Queen’s Royal Park, where we paid for two hours of parking (cost $3.22).  We checked out the view of Old Fort Niagara from Queen’s Royal Park.  We walked a couple blocks to Queen Street and then through Simcoe Park.

IMG_20170729_101339Bob took this picture of my photographing the flowers at Simcoe Park.

_LG22985Simcoe Park Flowers

_LG22987Vendors were setting up for a jazz festival in Simcoe Park.

According to this web page, the jazz festival is an annual event.  This year marks its fourth year.

Leaving Simcoe Park, we continued our walk along Queen Street.  We made several photo stops.

_LG22989Niagara-on-the-Lake is a beautiful city.
In the summertime, everywhere you look are flowers and more flowers!

_LG22992Prince of Wales Hotel
The banner that reads “150” is to commemorate the province of Ontario’s 150th anniversary.

_LG22993A horse and carriage crosses Queen Street.
The Memorial Clock Tower is seen in the background.


A horse and carriage is making its way down Queen Street.
The Memorial Clock Tower is seen in the background.

_LG23000the Memorial Clock Tower

The Memorial Clock Tower, or Cenotaph, has stood in the center of Queen Street since June 3, 1922.  The Clock Tower was built as a memorial to the town residents who were killed in action during the first World War.


More pretty flowers along Queen Street

_LG23004Viking Shop

We stopped in The Viking Shop, where we purchased a solar lighthouse bird feeder.  This is the third lighthouse bird feeder that I have owned since 2012.  The other two bird feeders were destroyed by bears!  For now, at least, I plan to use my new lighthouse bird feeder as a decorative piece in our yard.

This is my new solar bird feeder.  It has two light options: white or multi colored.

_LG23006Statue of George Bernard Shaw

You might be wondering why there is a statue of George Bernard Shaw in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The city is the home of the Shaw Festival.

We made our way back to Queen’s Royal Park, which is located along the bank of the Niagara River, where the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario.  We spent 30 minutes or so enjoying the view from Queen’s Royal Park.

IMG_20170729_112859From Queen’s Royal Park there is a fantastic view of historic Fort Niagara, located in Youngstown NY.
Bob took this picture of me with Fort Niagara in the background.

_LG23032Lots of people were enjoying the trail at Queen’s Royal Park.

I captured some very nice photographs of Fort Niagara with my Olympus 40-150mm and 300mm camera lenses.

_LG23022Fort Niagara (NY)

Here are close-up pictures of some of the fort structures that you see in the above photograph.

_LG23019Fort Niagara (NY)

Fort Niagara (NY)

_LG23013Fort Niagara (NY)

We saw lots of boats from our vantage point at Queen’s Royal Park.

_LG23010Sailboats on Lake Ontario

_LG23011Some of the sailboats were very colorful!

_LG23029Colorful Sailboats

From Queen’s Royal Park the Toronto skyline across Lake Ontario can be seen on a clear day.

_LG23036Toronto Skyline

We arrived in Niagara-on-the-Lake at 9:50 am and departed the town, en route Niagara Falls, around 11:30 am.



Senior Citizen’s Day at the Erie Zoo

Sometime Monday I posted on Facebook that I was planning to go on a photo walk at the Erie Zoo on Wednesday.   I asked if anyone would be interested in joining me. A few people showed interest, but they had other plans.

Tuesday afternoon I saw the following Erie Zoo Facebook page post:

“Calling all Senior Citizens! Join us for a fun-filled, free day at the Erie Zoo this Wednesday July 26th from 10am-2pm. On this special day, seniors ages 62 and over and their grandchildren under 18 years old will receive free Zoo admission, free lemonade, free popcorn and a free carousel ride. Thank you to UPMC Health Plan and Northwest Bank for making this day possible.”

I decided at that time NOT to go to the zoo, as I suspected that the zoo would be crowded. I posted on Facebook that I would not be going to the zoo.

Early Wednesday morning I changed my mind and decided to go to the zoo.

I departed home at 8:00 am and arrived at Erie Zoo at 9:15 am, 45 minutes before the zoo opened. There was already a small line forming at the gate! I walked over and got in line. The gate opened at 10:00 am.  Here is a Smilebox video of some of the animals and other things that I saw at the zoo.

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In recognition of the Senior Citizen’s Day event, there were many informational booths in healthcare, wellness, and entertainment scattered throughout the zoo. At these booths were informational brochures and free stuff (e.g. Notepads, Kleenex, bottle openers, measuring tape, pens, etc.) Here is a picture of all the free stuff I got.

In addition to it being Senior Citizen’s Day at the zoo, it was Wild Wednesday (the last one this year), when the zoo stays open until 8:00 pm.  I am a member of the Erie Zoo.  Besides the Senior Citizen’s Day giveaways shown in this picture,  as a perk for zoo members on Wild Wednesday, I rode the Wildlife Carousel and Safari Train for free and got a free hot dog and soft drink for lunch.

I am SO glad that I decided to go to the zoo after all.  I had a very good time!


Mt. Morris NY to Warren PA, via Letchworth State Park

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area the weekend of July 1 through July 3.  In my earlier blog post I wrote about the first part of our trip back home on Monday, July 3.  This blog post is about rest of our trip back home.

After lunch we drove through Letchworth State Park.   Earlier this year we purchased an annual New York State Park Empire Pass that provides unlimited day use vehicle entry to most state parks and recreation facilities. Letchworth State Park was one of three New York State parks at which we used our Empire Pass during our weekend getaway.   I wrote about visits at the other two state parks in previous blog posts.  At Letchworth we stopped at Inspiration Point and Middle Falls.

_LG22570_LG22571_LG22572-HDRBoth the Upper and Middle Falls are visible from Inspiration Point.

_LG22579Rainbow at Middle Falls

_LG22585Middle Falls

We passed up Lower Falls. Perhaps someday we will make the hike down that trail again. Neither of us felt like making that hike today. The Portageville exit is still closed, as construction continues on a new steel arch railroad bridge across the Genesee River Gorge. You can see the bridge in the photograph displayed above, as well as in the photograph of Inspiration Point.  We were surprised to find the trail to Upper Falls fenced off. The trail is closed for reconstruction through the remainder of 2017.

There is much more to see and do at Letchworth State Park.  We have visited this park several times over the past 15+ years, as the park is located only a couple hours drive from our home.  I expect we will make a return trip in the fall.

We departed Letchworth State Park via the Castile exit at 3:30 pm.

We stopped for ice cream at Peaches and Cream in Randolph NY. I ordered a banana split, which was made with one scoop each of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream with appropriate toppings and a sliced banana. The banana split was easily twice the size as the one I get at Dairy Queen and cost about the same. I didn’t need or want dinner that evening!

We returned home shortly before 6:00 pm. Checking the odometer, we traveled 641 miles during our weekend getaway. We said hello to our kitty and unpacked the car. While I unpacked our travel bag and put away everything else, Bob mowed the yard.

My new U.S. Passport arrived in the mail, while we were away. Hooray! We can plan a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada now! When I mailed in my passport renewal application on June 14, the processing time indicated was 4-6 weeks. The processing time was quicker than that!

I hope that you have enjoyed the blog posts about our East Syracuse NY weekend getaway!


East Syracuse NY to Mt. Morris NY

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area.

We checked out of the Best Western East Syracuse, after breakfast, on Monday July 3, and were on our way home shortly before 8:00 am.

On our way to East Syracuse on Saturday, we stopped at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.  We stopped at the wildlife refuge once again on our way back home. I am so glad that we visited Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. I put my new camera lens to good use, as we drove around Wildlife Drive.

New camera lens, you ask?  I just realized that I hadn’t shared on my blog that I purchased a new camera lens.  I waited for well over 1-1/2 years to purchase this camera lens.  At first the camera lens wasn’t in stock.  Then I didn’t have the money available to purchase the lens.  Finally, everything came together to make the purchase.  I purchased an Olympus m.Zuiko ED 300mm f4.0 IS Pro lens, specifically for wildlife photography.  Coupled with a 1.4x teleconverter, I have an effective focal length of 840mm!  My new lens arrived on Friday, June 30, the day before we left on our weekend getaway.  I need to use the lens more to increase my proficiency in its use, but I am very pleased with the images that I captured at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

_LG22411Bird ID needed

_LG22424Osprey in Flight, with seaweed attached to its claw

_LG22428Are these birds American Coot?

The highlight of our visit to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge was the sighting of two American Bald Eagles.  One eagle flew off to parts unknown, but one eagle landed in a tree not far from where we were on Wildlife Drive.

Bob took this photograph of me, while photographing the eagle.

And to think I didn’t want a moon roof, when we were car shopping. I didn’t want to spend the extra money. The car on the lot that we liked came with a moon roof. I am glad that we got a moon roof, because it enabled me to capture a couple good photographs of the eagle!

_LG22462American Bald Eagle

My new camera lens is a keeper!
These two eagle images are the best pictures I have ever taken of an eagle!

We sat and watched a group of Canadian Geese farther along on Wildlife Drive.

_LG22481Canadian Geese, quietly enjoying the pond

The quiet didn’t last for long!

_LG22482Noisy Canadian Geese!

_LG22487This duck had one of the Wildlife Drive ponds all to herself.

_LG22499Great Blue Heron

We stopped once again to admire the newly installed eagle monument.

_LG22529The eagle monument was built in honor the the 40th anniversary of New York State’s bald eagle
reintroduction program, which largely happened at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

_LG22532The eagle monument is visible from Interstate 90.

Leaving Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, we drove to Mt. Morris, NY.  We ate lunch at Brian’s USA Diner.  We selected this restaurant for lunch, based on its positive reviews. Yes, as stated by reviewers, the service was quick and friendly. Bob ordered a Reuben sandwich with Onion Rings. I ordered pulled chicken in a hoagie bun with potato salad. The restaurant reviews indicated that the portions were large. I agree. My pulled chicken hoagie sandwich was huge! My potato salad was heaped high in a small bowl. At first, Bob’s Reuben sandwich looked average size. He said, though, that there was lots of meat in his sandwich, so much meat that he could barely taste the dressing. Reviewers raved about the taste of the food. The food tasted okay, nothing really to boast about. Nothing to complain about either.

After lunch, we drove to nearby Letchworth State Park.  I will share details and photographs of Letchworth State Park in the next (and final) blog post I write about our East Syracuse NY weekend getaway.


July 2 Sightseeing Activities – Green Lakes State Park

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area. This blog post is a continuation of sightseeing activities on Sunday, July 2 (day 2 of our weekend getaway). In previous blog posts, I wrote about an unplanned stop in Manlius NY, a planned stop at Chittenango Falls State Park and our drive around Oneida Lake.

Our last sightseeing stop for the day was at Green Lakes State Park.  Earlier this year we purchased an annual New York State Park Empire Pass that provides unlimited day use vehicle entry to most state parks and recreation facilities.   Green Lakes State Park was one of three New York State parks at which we used our Empire Pass during our weekend getaway.

Green Lakes State Park features two small lakes, Green Lake and Round Lake, which have an unusual blue-green color.  The lakes lie at the base of a gorge.  The lakes and the gorge are remnants from the end of the last ice age, about 15,000 years ago.  Green Lake and Round Lake are probably the remnants of the plunge pools of enormous waterfalls that existed during the ice age.  As expected for plunge pools, the lakes are fairly deep in comparison to their area.  Round Lake has a maximum depth of 170 feet: Green Lake has a maximum depth of 195 feet.

There is a level loop trail around Green Lake and Round Lake.  There is a short trail between Green Lake and Round Lake that connects the two lakes.  All together, the trail around the lakes is 3.25 miles.  I can easily bicycle 3 miles on level ground; however, no bicycles are allowed on the trails around the two lakes.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to walk all the way around the two lakes, but that is what we planned when discussing our weekend getaway.

At its northern end, Green Lake has a sandy swimming beach, lawns for sunbathing and picnics, a building with changing facilities and a concession stand.  Visitors can easily reach Green Lake and begin walking the trail around the two lakes from there.

_LG22393Green Lake

When we arrived at Green Lakes State Park, it was too hot and humid for a pleasant walk around Green Lake and Round Lake.  We decided to walk around Round Lake.  We drove through the park, looking for easy access to Round Lake.  We learned that the only ways to reach Round Lake was either by walking around Green Lake or by hiking down steep cliffs.  We settled for a hike from the camp store near the Pine Woods Camping Area down to Round Lake and back up.

_LG22392Round Lake
It was definitely worth the hike down to the lake!
Look at that gorgeous blue/green color of the lake!

I would like to make a return trip to Green Lakes State Park and attempt the walk around both lakes.  Perhaps a fall trip would be best, when the air is cooler and less humid.

Before returning to our hotel, we stopped for dinner at Grimaldi’s Ristorante.  The restaurant is located within walking distance of the hotel at which we stayed.

20170702_210358994_iOSBob at Grimaldi’s Ristorante

We highly recommend this restaurant. The entrees were generously proportioned; the food was delicious; and the service was excellent.

Our Main entrees at Grimalidi’s

Bob had Homemade Lasagna; I had Chicken Parmigiana, served with Rigatoni. Our meals included crusty bread and salad.

A plate of cotton candy served with the bill was totally unexpected.  What a pleasant surprise!  Neither of us has had cotton candy in a great many years.

Bubblegum-flavored Cotton Candy

In case you are wondering, we didn’t eat the entire plate of cotton candy.  We left most of it behind!

We returned to the hotel at 6:00 pm, where we stayed in for rest of evening.

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Reviews, talk, and fun

Senior Moments

The random musings of a fairly active Tennessee retiree

Pics & Pieces

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog



Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog


Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Linda's Peaceful Place

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Life's Funny Like That

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog


Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

I'll give you a piece of my mind

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Hospitality Lane

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Gretchen's Traveling

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

An English Girl Rambles from 2016 to ....

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog